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|We believe that worker safety is a fundamental human right, and that’s why we tirelessly work to promote and advance the occupational health and safety profession and those who practice it.|
Recorded at IOHA 2018
There was no official PEL value when the first suspected case of 1-bromopropane (1-BP) exposure related occupational disease was reported in 2013. The Taiwan Occupational Health Hazard Evaluation team was asked to verify the workers' exposures in a golf club head manufacturer. The club head surfaces were cleaned when workers manually dipped a basket with club heads in a 1-BP solvent tank. The Institute of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Labor initiated the exposure survey of 1-BP in Taiwan and proposed a recommended exposure limit (REL) based on a scientific review document. At workplaces using 1-BP as a metal surface cleaning solvent, personal and area air samples were taken. Meanwhile, the biological exposure index, 1-BP metabolite in workers' urine samples, were measured. Engineering controls and hand protection to mitigate exposures were recommended to the employers. The 1-BP REL document was drafted and verified by the technical committee of ILOSH. The 1-BP REL for 8-hr TWA was proposed to be 0.1 ppm with skin notation and announced through the public hearing process in 2017.
The workplace is changing, moving toward virtual working conditions, contingent employment, and robotics. Through these changes, there is a growing focus on worker safety, health, and well-being. In the global economy, employers can attract and retain workers by demonstrating a commitment to enhancing the well-being of employees. NIOSH and the RAND Corporation have collaborated to develop and operationalize a framework for worker well-being. This session will present the multidisciplinary literature review, key conceptual issues, and the proposed framework that defines worker well-being. Based on this framework, a survey tool was developed to enable OSH professionals and management to understand the issues facing their workforce and identify areas for potential intervention.
Globally, chemical flame retardants are added to consumer goods. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants were phased out due to environmental and human health concerns and replaced with alternative flame retardants. Research suggests that these alternative flame retardants may also impact human health. Gymnastics studio employees handle foam and can be exposed to flame retardants. A gymnastics studio replaced older, uncovered foam with foam certified free of some flame retardants and performed intensive cleaning. NIOSH evaluated the impact of this change. Before the pit foam was replaced, we found that employees had significantly higher levels of PentaBDEs on their hands at the end of the workshift. After the pit foam was replaced, one of five detected individual PentaBDEs on their hands was higher at the end of the workshift. We found that the across shift increases remained significantly higher for three alternative flame retardants, two of which were measured in the replacement foam.
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